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Santiago General Cemetery

Established in 1820 and housing nearly two million underground residents, the General Cemetery (or Cementerio General de Santiago) is both the largest and oldest in the country. With rows of ornate sculptures and mausoleums broken up by gardens of palm trees, a walk through the cemetery may as well be a lesson on the stylistic evolution of architecture itself.

All but two Presidents of Chile can be found here – most notably Salvador Allende – along with artist Violet Vine and Los Jaivas musician Eduardo Alquinta. A more emotionally-charged memorial, however, is the Memorial del Detenido Desaparecido y del Ejecutado Político, built in 1994 for the victims of Pinochet´s dictatorship who mysteriously and tragically disappeared.

It´s not uncommon to see hundreds of scattered bouquets of flowers that have been placed by the graves here and there throughout the cemetery. Keep an eye out for telltale signs of earthquake damage, such as cracked stones and lopsided angles.

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